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Long quests are questlines that are more than 10-15 steps long. Exceptional quests are quests that were memorable for folks while playing the game, or contain a significant amount of lore or world-related information that is interesting for players interested in the world of WoW. Hidden questlines are those that are hard enough to come by that most players never come across them in normal play.
Note that items are listed under the first category in which they appear. If a questline is both long and hidden, it appears under "long."
A long 15 step quest chain, that begins at level 20 in Darkshire from Elaine Carevin who asks you to check on the old man in the shack overlooking Raven Hill Cemetery where Abercrombie <The Hermit> resides, who sends you on many errands in the zone. It has you running up and down Duskwood to talk to other townspeople and collect ingredients for him as he is too old and frail and the path too dangerous. With each quest completed it digs deeper into his secret, and an unsuspecting adventurer to find out, at the very end, of his gruesome creation the abomination Stitches (a level 35 elite). This is a very fun quest chain, and nets a large amount of experience and the small event of Stitches invading the town, with a small army of the Night Watch ready to fight back. Stitches drops no interesting loot but the rewards at that level plus the experience make it worthwhile to complete. Most of the quest chain can be done in conjunction with other quests in the zone.
Covert Ops - Alpha and Beta
A long chain which begins off Sentinel Thenysil in Ashenvale which requires checking up on a night elf sentinel in Stonetalon Mountains, eventually it leads to killing, material gathering, explosions, distractions and item retrieval for the gnome quest giver Gaxim Rustfizzle.
You Are Rakh'likh, Demon
- Main article: You Are Rakh'likh, Demon quest chain
Also known as the "Fallen Hero" questline, or simply as the "Blasted Lands" questline, this is an exceptionally long set of quests in which the player is tasked with quelling some of the evil demons that have been causing trouble in the Blasted Lands.
The questline starts at the Fallen Hero of the Horde in the Swamp of Sorrows, and continues for many steps. It takes you all around the world, from Azshara to Stranglethorn Vale, and has you entering areas that seem to serve no purpose except as a piece of this quest. This is an exceptionally detailed, well-thought-out quest, with a coherent story and good rewards. The chain may require a full group to complete, as it also involves killing four different elites/bosses.
A gnome NPC named Linken in Un'Goro gives a rather long questline with some very decent rewards. It, again, takes you all over the world, from Winterspring to Tanaris, and has you helping Linken recover his sword. It's a tribute to the Legend of Zelda series. It begins with .
The Onyxia Key (discontinued)
- Main article: Onyxia's Lair attunement
The quest to get the Drakefire Amulet necessary for gaining entrance into Onyxia's lair was a long, difficult, elite questline, designed to be completed by a group of 5 players of level 60. The rewards were mediocre, but the questline itself is an excellent example of storytelling and world-building, as it reveals the details of the Dragonflights for the first time, and continues the quests that both factions can do in Dustwallow Marsh.
Moreover, the quests themselves are rather unique. There are a few of the typical, "Go here, kill this"-style quests, but there are also unique events, like disguising your character as a member of the Dragonflight and speaking with a dragon. Overall, this questline is worth doing just for the story, even if you never plan to raid Onyxia.
This quest chain was largely disabled in Patch 3.0.2 when the requirement of having the amulet was removed from the instance.
The Missing Diplomat
- Main article: The Missing Diplomat quest chain
A long questline for the Alliance that has you running all around the world trying to find the King of Stormwind. Though the questline used to end anti-climatically, it has been continued in Patch 2.3.0. The line is well worth doing if you're looking for some excellent lore about the Human race in WoW. The line starts here, and provides Jaina's Signet Ring.
The Shady Rest Inn
- Main article: The Shady Rest Inn quest chain
This is a long questline to discover the perpetrators of a hideous act. The second half of the questline was not added until Patch 2.3.0, so the end remained long hidden, in the spirit of most crime stories. The plot shows a rare example of cooperation between Horde and Alliance to solve a tragic mystery, though the factions characteristically end up getting in each other's way.
Hero of the Mag'har
- Main article: Hero of the Mag'har quest chain
An exceptional addition to the lore of the Orcs, particularly of Thrall himself, in The Burning Crusade. This questline has you running errands for Thrall's grandmother, Geyah. It's exceptionally long, the rewards are excellent, and the storyline reminds you why you love video games.
Attunement to the Eye
- Main article: The Cipher of Damnation quest chain
A 25 part quest chain that ends with the player being attuned to the Eye in the Netherstorm. This quest line no longer needs to be completed to enter the eye and formerly awarded the title "Champion of the Naaru". The quest line begins with .
Death Knights start in an instanced version of the Eastern Plaguelands called the Scarlet Enclave at level 55. After an exceptionally long series of quests involving many famous Scourge bosses from Naxxramas, you must break free from the Lich's tyrant will with the help of The Knights of the Ebon Blade in a battle with Patchwerk and his minions. Afterwards, the knights ask you to act as ambassador to the Horde or Alliance.
Rated one of the most interesting and difficult quest chains pre-the burning crusade, this adventure begins at Baristolth of the Shifting Sands and takes people all around Azeroth, exploring unexpected areas and dangerous zones, talking with quiet folk and legends. This is the quest about the War of the Shifting Sands between the Ahn'qiraj, the Cenarion Circle and the bronze dragonflight and is hailed to be the most lore-packed chain in World of Warcraft. Though the quest is not for the everyday quester as it requires effort put into it, players would be tasked with "unusual" quests and eventually a focused raid group would have to be formed to battle through the tough Blackrock Mountain, Onyxia's Lair, Stormwind Keep, Undercity, The Tainted Scar, Darkwhisper Gorge, Alcaz Island and the Isle of Dread as well as combat World Bosses beyond the difficulty of the four Nightmare Dragons of Azeroth.
Varimathras and Grand Apothecary Putress have taken the Undercity by storm and are now holding it as a home base for summoning demons and performing blight experiments. The heroes of the Horde will battle alongside Thrall and Sylvanas to reclaim the city from Varimathras, while Alliance adventurers must side with Varian and Jaina to defeat Putress. Each side's viewpoint is unique, so it is recommended that you play it as a Horde and an Alliance character. Both sides, however, will get great enjoyment, as the quest has a rich story and each side will have to fight against multiple bosses to win.
Widely hailed as one of the best questlines in the game, Tirion Fordring in the Western Plaguelands starts a line of quests that reveals his relationship with the Scarlet Crusade, and explains a large portion of the story behind the army in red. The line begins with , and completes with . If you level in the Plaguelands, it's definitely worth pursuing this quest line.
Added in a later patch, Screecher Spirits is basically an introduction to the lore that surrounds the god Hakkar, the master of Zul'Gurub. It has several pieces that span Zul'Farrak and The Sunken Temple, and the rewards are excellent for their level.
This is an interesting bit of game. It concerns itself with the lore of Duskwood, though it takes characters around to various places in that area. It also explains the power of Arugal from Shadowfang Keep. The ending to the quest is rather anti-climactic. The intended ending was probably for Alliance characters to go to Shadowfang Keep and retrieve the Scythe of Elune from Arugal, but that never really panned out. The questlines also contains a few bits of cross-faction lore, which is rare in WoW.
This quest-line also takes place in Duskwood. Players will be running all around the Duskwood and the other nearby regions to find information on Stalvan's past and the horrendous crimes he committed in life, before confronting him as an Undead in an epic battle. Note that since Stalvan has been nerfed into a non-elite, the quest chain does not end off as climactically as before, but is still worth playing for its rich story-line.
Darrowshire is a ruined town in the Eastern Plaguelands. The humans could not hold out, and the Scourge, led by Horgus the Ravager and Marduk Blackpool won the day in the name of evil. The trapped spirits would ask your help to save their souls, with you and your allies ultimately battling against Horgus and his army as they invade Darrowshire. Note: Marduk is not fought because he is now a teacher at the Scholomance.
This quest is quite short, being that you only have to deliver a letter found on the corpse of a supposed "traitor," who had joined the blue dragonflight. However, the traitor in question was actually forced to serve them, but had been sabotaging them all along. Your commanding officer has the good taste not to mention your part in the traitor's demise, however it still leaves a pit of guilt in your stomach, especially after the traitor's loved one writes you back, thanking you.
This brief quest has a huge payoff: You give Lady Sylvanas her necklace, and she sings an elven ballad that she remembers from before she was undead. It's absolutely worth spending 30 minutes to complete as a level 80 for this.
This questline, is an excellent way to guide exploration of Blackrock Depths, and to get a general sense for the stories and trials that the Badlands, Searing Gorge, and Burning Steppes are dealing with. The rewards are excellent and the storyline is a great introduction to Blackrock Mountain.
This series of 8 or so quests has you running errands and finding out about the Archmage Vargoth. One of the better additions to The Burning Crusade, the line sports a good story and excellent rewards. See also , available after you finish this line.
This Alliance-only quest has you running all around the world in pursuit of the final reward: A non-combat Sprite Darter pet. The above links to the quest chain page, but an external guide is available here, and the line is recommend to all players just because it's extremely fun.
While not hidden before The Burning Crusade, this questline starts in Upper Blackrock Spire with , making it relatively hidden for the majority of the post-expansion crowd. It explains a small piece of lore dealing with the dragonflights, and has a unique teleportation gimmick in Winterspring that is rather fun. You pick it up from Awbee in the dungeon.
This quest starts from a letter that you pick up inside one of the ships in southern Stranglethorn Vale. The line itself ends with a rather simple reward (a 14-slot bag), but the quest texts are riddles, making the line unlike anything else in the game. Don't spoil this for yourself—try to figure out the riddles without resorting to the wowhead spoilers!
Not a hidden quest to the Alliance, but one of the few true cross-faction quests in the game. Horde players can do this quest, but it can rather difficult due to over zealous guards.
Also known as the King Kong quest, this gem of a task starts on the southern beach of STV, where some of the bottles on the beach contain a scroll with a message. The reward is relatively mediocre, but the experience of finding a giant gorilla (King Mukla) on an island is pretty outstanding.
Picked up from a letter hidden underwater underneath the Thandol Span.
This starts in Westfall, but the level requirement is such that most players will never know it's there. It has you running a small set of errands, and concludes with a nice little trinket reward.
Another Westfall quest, that has you running around clucking like a chicken for up to five minutes. However, the reward is a Westfall Chicken small pet. Since patch 3.1.0 the same quest is done in Brill so Horde players can get the pet too.
A horde only quest, found in Weathered Nook started at Dorn Plainstalker. Takes the player to Stonetalon Mountains, Ashenvale, Undercity and the Scarlet Monastery. Meanwhile the player have to answer the correct answer to questions about lore along the way.
- The Gamespy List - A list of several major questlines (most of which are covered above) compiled by Gamespy.